research & development

Final Steps

An update as promised: all systems are now ‘Go’ on the technical side (pun intended) and we intend to release Frontier this week. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on my previous blog post. What became apparent is that prior to the big day, many of you wanted to know more about what the sequence of events would exactly be, and how to prepare your machine for the release. A transparent and open release Frontier users will need to...
research & development

Frontier is coming – what to expect, and how to prepare

We are only days away from launching ‘Frontier’, the first milestone in the release of the Ethereum project. Frontier will be followed by ‘Homestead’, ‘Metropolis’ and ‘Serenity’ throughout the coming year, each adding new features and improving the user friendliness and security of the platform.
Tags: frontier
research & development

How do you know Ethereum is secure?

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the London office and pondering how to give you a good overview about the work we’ve been doing to secure Ethereum’s protocols, clients and p2p-network. As you might remember, I joined the Ethereum team at the end of last year to manage the security audit. As spring has passed and summer arrived and meanwhile several audits finished, it’s now a good time for me to share some results from the inspection of the...
research & development

On Abstraction

Special thanks to Gavin Wood, Vlad Zamfir, our security auditors and others for some of the thoughts that led to the conclusions described in this post One of Ethereum’s goals from the start, and arguably its entire raison d’être, is the high degree of abstraction that the platform offers. Rather than limiting users to a specific set of transaction types and applications, the platform allows anyone to create any kind of blockchain application by writing a script and uploading it...
research & development

State Tree Pruning

One of the important issues that has been brought up over the course of the Olympic stress-net release is the large amount of data that clients are required to store; over little more than three months of operation, and particularly during the last month, the amount of data in each Ethereum client’s blockchain folder has ballooned to an impressive 10-40 gigabytes, depending on which client you are using and whether or not compression is enabled. Although it is important to...
research & development

Ethereum messaging for the masses (including fathers) – via infographic

When I started evangelizing bitcoin and blockchain tech back in 2012 my Dad was a hard sell. There was the common skepticism and typical counters of “what’s backing it?”, “what can be done with it?” and “what the heck is cryptography?” Back then my pitch wasn’t refined and the learning tools had just not quite matured yet…but frankly, I think more of the reason he didn’t grasp it was that he just isn’t technical and doesn’t adopt early tech. I...
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Another Ethereum ÐΞV Update

Been a while, I know, but then these are rather busy days. I’m writing this from a Starbucks in Shanghai sitting behind the Great Firewall, able to peep out only occasionally. I’ve been in Asia with Marek for the last couple of weeks, mainly for meetups, workshops and technical meetings. During this time, we’ve seen the release, struggle and survival of the Olympic testnet, a very clear signal that a multi-client system would be far superior to the present monoculture....
research & development

The Problem of Censorship

One of the interesting problems in designing effective blockchain technologies is, how can we ensure that the systems remain censorship-proof? Although lots of work has been done in cryptoeconomics in order to ensure that blockchains continue pumping out new blocks, and particularly to prevent blocks from being reverted, substantially less attention has been put on the problem of ensuring that transactions that people want to put into the blockchain will actually get in, even if “the powers that be”, at...
research & development

The Business Imperative Behind the Ethereum Vision

Special thanks to Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilcke for countless revisions feedback, picks at their brains, and helping me read their tea leaves. Introduction In the world of cryptography-based computer science, the Ethereum technology vision has captivated the imagination of a large number of software developers and technologists who saw its obvious promise. But those same promises and their business interpretations (and implications) have not widely reached, nor been well understood by non-technical audiences. As Ethereum nears coming out...